A recent survey carried out by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) reference found that more than 60 percent of nurses working in the community have been subjected to verbal or physical abuse in the past couple of years.
In efforts to combat this worrying problem, many Trusts have a form of lone-worker alarm system in place to help protect their staff in the event of abuse or an assault. Stockport NHS Foundation Trust is a typical example.
In 2009, NHS Trusts across England and Wales purchased personal alarms (in most cases, the Identicom i750*) for their lone working employees through a national framework agreement, which was part-funded by the government. However, funding was only for the first two years of the contract – after the initial two year period was over, Trusts took responsibility for the remainder of the contract. With recent changes in public sector spending, many Trusts are now looking for more cost-effective, viable alternatives to offer 24/7 backup and assistance for their lone working staff.
Jill Nixon – Office Manager Community Nursing for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust approached us, to invest in a lone working solution that would better suit the community nursing needs. With NHS budgets being squeezed, Trusts are under more pressure to save money and resources where possible, without compromising service or safety of staff. Skyguard were able to help. Compared with their previous provider, our service is on average 7% cheaper.
Jill said “By switching to Skyguard, we were able to have an efficient system which was affordable.”
Cost issues aside, Jill was faced with another problem – the Identicom was too limited in functionality.
The Service found itself frustrated with certain limitations of the Identicom device. The Trust’s previous service provider only allowed three people to be assigned a device at any one time. What’s more, transferring users came at a significant cost – £29.65 per person. Stockport NHS Foundation Trust were impressed with Skyguard’s flexible service which allows an unlimited number of users to share a device… at no extra cost. Switching users and devices couldn’t be easier; a simple feature on our secure online Customer Service Centre portal enables users to make changes instantly, in real-time, free of charge!
“With Skyguard, we’re able to assign personal alarms to different people as and when we need to. This means we don’t have to purchase an alarm for every District Nurse. We’re able to pool devices for our staff as and when is necessary.”
And it doesn’t end there. With the option of one or two-way audio, GPS tracking and locating, voice memo and speed dial buttons to call a number of your choice, The MySOS – Europe’s smallest personal safety device, offers greater functionality than the Identicom. This fact is not lost on the staff at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.
“The most important part is that our District Nurses feel safe and secure in the knowledge that there is always help at hand when they might need them the most.”
Delighted with the service provided with Skyguard, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust recently ordered more MySOS devices – happy in the knowledge that they are receiving a superior service for less cost.
*Identicom is a trademark of Connexion2 Limited